Interacting with dementia

This project investigates everyday interaction in Danish care facilities for persons with dementia (PWDs). The care facilities constitute communities that the PWDs are placed in involuntarily. The study is based on long term ethnographic observations and employs ethnomethodological conversation analytic methods to investigate whether and how the disease on one hand and the institutional circumstances on the other influence the interactions between PWDs, staff, significant others or other visitors.  The analyses are based on video-recordings of the interactions and supplemented by field notes.

The study sheds light on PWDs possibilities for participation in social life and the use of remaining language and other resources for sense-making. A central question of the study is the residents’ possibilities for accommodating to their new social environments and for building and maintaining relationships by using available communicative and language skills that are fitted to the local interactional environments. The project in other words centers around learning too.
Benefits: care staff, PWDs  and their relatives

Elisabeth Muth Andersen, Elisabeth Dalby Kristiansen, Gitte Rasmussen

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